PM Security Breach: SC to Set Up Independent Panel; Halts Centre & State Probes
The Centre and state have been directed to refrain from going ahead with their probe until a report is submitted.
The Supreme Court on Monday, 10 January, resumed hearing a plea pertaining to the recent lapse in security during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Punjab, and said that a committee headed by a retired Supreme Court judge will be formed to probe the matter.
As per the SC order, DGP Chandigarh, IG National Investigation Agency, Registrar General, and ADGP (Security) of Punjab may be part of the committee.
Until a detailed report is submitted by the panel, the Centre and the state will refrain from going ahead with their probe, the SC observed.
A three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice NV Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli were hearing the plea filed by Lawyers Voice who sought action against officials responsible for the security lapse.
Delhi-based Lawyers Voice had asserted that the state government and the police were complicit in jeopardising the security of the holder of a high constitutional office in the country.
Last week, around 30 km away from the National Martyrs Memorial in Hussainiwala, the PM’s convoy was stranded on a flyover due to an alleged blockade by some protesters. Consequently, the PM returned to the national capital, missing a rally and several events scheduled in the poll-bound state.
‘Will Not Get a Fair Hearing From the Centre’: Punjab Advocate General
Meanwhile, the Court expressed discontent at the show-cause notices to the officials of the state government by the Centre.
The apex court also told the Centre that the show cause notice issued by it to Punjab officials is self-contradictory and added, "By constituting a committee you seek to enquire if there was a breach and then you hold state CS and DG guilty. Who held them guilty?"
Though the Solicitor General suggested that a Central Committee could examine the issue and submit a report to the Court, Punjab Advocate General DS Patwalia was quoted as saying, "I will not get a fair hearing from Central Government. Please appoint an independent committee, and give us a fair hearing", LiveLaw reported.
(With inputs from LiveLaw.)
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